IBM and iEnterprises Integrate Business Social Networking for CRM

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and iEnterprises today announced the integration of […]

November 27, 2009

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and iEnterprises today announced the integration of iEnterprises’ customer relationship management (CRM) software, iExtensions CRM, with IBM’s social networking platform, Lotus Connections.

Integrating social networking with CRM enables businesses to build communities and relationships around contacts, help increase sales, improve response rates and offer better customer service.

The integration uses Web services to bring a new Social Networking for CRM module to iExtensions CRM and Lotus Connections customers, allowing both groups to link and synchronize information between the two systems. By doing so, companies can take full advantage of business-grade social networking behind the firewall to improve their customer relationship and sales prospecting activities.

“It’s like the virtual coffee machine chat — where a massive information pool can be readily called upon, but here it’s more targeted and therefore more purposeful,” said [client name], Royal Caribbean’s Project Manager for International IT, an iExtensions CRM and customer. “We’re excited about this integration — it could help us tap collective experiences and get answers faster. It also opens doors for cross departmental sharing — so sales, finance, marketing and call centers can swap their customer communication histories and build relationships.”

The integration between the iExtensions CRM and Lotus Connections is based on a service oriented architecture (SOA) approach. Using Web services, the data from either system can be reused with other programs across an enterprise. The flexibility of Web services means that the data can be extended to mobile devices, making it possible for businesses to take the combination of social networking and CRM with them on the road.

With iEnterprises’ new Social Networking for CRM Module, managing contacts, activities and opportunities is quick and easy. Sales representatives can log into their iExtensions CRM system and instantly pull and store contact and other relevant information needed for a project from Lotus Connections in one click. They can subsequently identify sales leads, grow relationships, associate and pinpoint areas of expertise. Push emails can also be set to notify iEnterprises CRM users of changes in phone contact, job, or other important information which would typically require time-intensive information gathering.

Finding the right expertise can also become easier with integrated CRM and social networking. For example, if a critical situation arises with a customer, the sales representative can use Lotus Connections to quickly identify people that can help. After virtually assembling a team, members can be transferred to the CRM system and assigned tasks to resolve the situation.

The iEnterprises’ Social Networking CRM Module is expected to be available worldwide from iEnterprises in October 2008.

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